Who We Are
My name is Ido, I was born in Israel and raised in the countryside, spending my youth along with the orchards and between the hills, spending my time outdoors, and usually not sitting so patiently in a classroom.
Served for 5 years in the IDF and still serving as a captain in the Special Forces reserve troops. I completed my studies in 2013 at "Ben Zvi Institute" and received my "Certified tour guide" certification from the Ministry of Tourism.
Guiding full time since 2014 specializing in history, archaeology, and desert cultures. I chose this profession because of the love of the land, the uniqueness, the history, the stories, and the people who live between the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
I started rock climbing in 2012 and ever since, I've been dividing my time between guiding private people and groups in different parts of the world and climbing the most adventure lines I was possible, always searching for the next adventure whether guiding or climbing.
Groundup is working with guides who were educated by nature and want to bring something back to the planet, the universe, and the people who are part of this circle. We believe it can best be made by education, one that is not learned only in classes but first of all - outdoors.
No matter the place - if it's abounded archaeological site in the Negev desert, the walls and sandstone canyons of southern Jordan, or the awe-inspiring wilderness of Alaska, in each place we can learn a different aspect of history, ecology, species diversity, and human nature to name a few.
All of the above can be achieved if we'll step out, explore, see, touch, hike, climb, learn, ask, use our curiosity, take challenges & push our physical and mental abilities to what we think is our "Edge".
By fulfilling our mission we believe we will leave planet earth a little bit better for our descendants - cleaner, wilder and with a higher tolerance for people and the planet's wildlife.
Our logo is an animal called Arabian Oryx, one of the most beautiful and unique mammals one can meet (if lucky) in the south of Israel, south of Jordan, and northern Africa. Adapted specially for the hardest and toughest deserts in the world, the Arabian Oryx is a symbol of life – a majestic, strong & firm creature who wandering across the vast empty lands of the deserts.
The symbol for human mistakes and the way we can fix problems that we created – At the start of the 20th century the Arabian Oryx could have been found around the deserts of the Middle East & Arab Peninsula, because of its beautiful colors, special outfit, the size and the unique horns he was cruelly hunted by the desert settlers, Westerners & Bedouins.
In the ‘60s, after the whole population got extinct except for 4 individuals in the Arab Peninsula, wildlife researchers made a smart and bold decision to try to save this species. After centuries of rehabilitation in the zoo's across the world the Arabian Oryx is back to roam the deserts of the Middle East. At the end of the 90's one of the best "returning to nature" operations took place in Israel.
After 100 years with no wild Arabian Oryx in the deserts there are more than 120 Arabian Oryx living in the Arava Valley of Israel, hopefully, more to come and return nature to its full glory.